Friday, 22 August 2014

Two days of full-pace work lies ahead. Already completed is one of the many services on offer in Dale and one of the most sought after ones; a magic shop of sorts, offering some unusual items including some new rare (and expensive) potions, storage bags, scrolls and a small number of new crafting components to aid in the upgrade of weapons and armour. The keeper of this store can be paid to perform upgrades or the party can, with the correct skills and crafting feats, perform upgrades themselves.
The main piece of work coming up is the concluding group of main quests for Dale in chapter 2. These are action-heavy quests as opposed to the quieter yet intense first part of the chapter. The Easterlings have not forgotten Dale and their skirmishing forces have finally arrived with some other creepy figures too. Also, an old enemy from IP will finally make an "appearance" (the keen eyed player may be able to deduce who it is when they play the game). First job for me... another large exterior area to make - progress on this will come soon!

Familiar face from the demo. A man of few words...

Friday, 1 August 2014

Time for an update...

It's been all go for many weeks now - which has resulted in a lot content completed, even if it prevented me from commenting as much as I'd like to. I recently uploaded a demo version of the entirety of Chapter 1 of The Umbral Abyss. Had some great feedback so far and it is great to see folks are enjoying the continuation of the story. I have been able to correct and improve upon a number of items following your e-mails and comments. Once again, a huge thank you goes to AhTravesty who has dived straight in and made a Let's Play of the demo. Just as with his excellent Indanthrine Prince series, I have pages of items I will be tweaking and fixing up whether it be a simple oversight of mine, something that doesn't quite work as intended or an opportunity to bring more reaction or emotion out of the player - something very important to me.

The demo module can be downloaded from the new Neverwinter Vault and Nexus Mods. It contains about 8 hours of content and picks up right after Indanthrine Prince (albeit "one year later" in game). You can play with the character you completed Indanthrine Prince with, or you can roll up a new character who will be given the required experience and background feats to register your "previous" actions so that the module responds accordingly when required.

I was in two minds about putting this demo out, as I did not want to spoil too much of the latter parts of the campaign. On reflection, this was the right thing to do; Chapter one could easily stand on its own as a single module. Whilst it contains elements of the wider campaign plot, there is one core theme to this chapter and it is tied up nicely at its conclusion. Another reason to go ahead was that it will contain additional side quests and activities which I have cut out of this demo - so all the more reason to enjoy the play-through in the full, final version. The final reason; the whole campaign is starting to become quite the beast. It has already surpassed Indanthrine Prince in terms of areas and comprises four modules at this time. That number is going to hit at least six, if not more. I cannot see the campaign being completed until at least the end of the year, so I wanted to put something out there for the meantime. Looking forward, additional smaller offerings may appear for download to whet appetities and give me another opportunity for some feedback other than my own testing efforts. Whatever happens, I do not commit myself to any kind of deadline - Umbral Abyss will be done when it's done.

So on to current affairs... Chapter 2 is coming along very nicely. Multiple sections of the main story have been completed and seem to play very well. I am in the process of completing one of the larger quests in the Dale story; a lot of cloak and dagger going on here, with smatterings of intrigue and whodunnits with reduced, but hopefully, very intense combat. We have made use of a new tileset for this quest and a few planned others - Dungeon by Kalister; a beautifully detailed classic D&D dungeon look. It has suited our needs perfectly for part of Old Dale...

I shall have time find time to do a short video sometime soon. Until then, here are some shots of above mentioned dungeon.

This area and others which would need to be pitch black by default will contain lighting sources which the player can interact with. So carry a torch if you are scared of the dark!